Monday, March 10, 2014

Aquaman #28

How does this scene ever take place? Did Aquaman forget he can telepathically control sharks?

How embarrassing would it be for Aquaman to be killed by a shark? Would the Justice League even have a memorial for him at that point or just never talk about it? Better to pretend he never existed than to acknowledge that he had one stupid power and he couldn't even get that right.

You know the worst part of living in Atlantis? No internet! Which I just realized means they don't have access to much pornography. What about books and magazines? How do they have those underwater? Maybe they print things on sharkskin in squid ink. Although you'd probably really hurt yourself if you rubbed up on your pornography wrong.

This comic book is not about Atlantis's faults though. It's about a sexually frustrated Aquaman discovering a hidden human base underwater where they've begun experiments on the Karaquan's brain. I guess he's not totally frustrated sexually. He and Mera seem to have a strong relationship when she's not humiliated by the way the humans joke about him. Plus he's lived on land for most of his life out in his father's lighthouse on the edge of Amnesty Bay. I'm sure his father had a huge stack of old school pornography on hand for those lonely, stormy nights.

Real Atlantean Porn: watching humans get torn apart by sharks.

Aquaman explodes in his pants and out of the Atlantean Mini-sub which houses a lot of electronic equipment and isn't filled with water like other Atlantean living spaces. So maybe the Atlanteans do have internet! I'm not sure what kind of a wireless they get underwater and they probably all use "Passwordfish" as their security passwords.

Aquaman cannot telepathically control the sharks because they're in a feeding frenzy. I guess his telekinesis is like hypnotism: he can't make anybody do anything they wouldn't already be prone to do. And sharks don't like to not eat. A shark taking one bite out of a human is like a human eating one Lay's Potato Chip: it can't be done. Sure, it can be done if the whole point is to show somebody that it can be done. But if you're all alone with a bag of potato chips, you're never going to grab a single chip and think, "That really hit the spot!" No, you're more likely to eat half the bag and think, "Oh god I feel so sick."

So Aquaman fails with his super power and has to resort to his only other super power: punching! He beats those stupid sharks up and quite possibly mortally wounds a few because if there is one thing Jeff Parker's Aquaman cannot stand, it's some creature eating a meal! Seriously. That's all he's done since Parker took over. He's stopped creatures from completing their meals. Can that be considered an eating disorder? Not being able to watch somebody else eat? No wonder Mera is so skinny.

Arthur manages to save Creature King and get him on board Triton Base where they probably have advanced medical facilities specifically for shark attacks. He runs into Doctor Shin and realizes he probably should have killed this weasel when he had the chance. But Doctor Shin assures Arthur he'll explain later. On land. Where there are no sharks. And not over a meal. Arthur reluctantly agrees because he doesn't feel like getting shot in the face by the military assholes Doctor Shin is now working for. But I'm sure he'll be back to defeat Triton Base with the delicious taste of Hostess Twinkies.

But first Arthur and Mera have to head up to land to buy some Twinkies since that's another thing Atlantis is deficient in: delicious golden cakes filled with sweet cream filling! At the lighthouse, they run into some old friends: Aquadog and his girlfriend!

If I were twelve, I'd probably make a tasteless joke about how Aquaman wound up naming his dog Salty.

It turns out Arthur's high school reunion is this weekend but he's not going to go because most of those kids were assholes. Or they became assholes once they found out Arthur could talk to fish. Although putting a classmate in a coma because he had freaky strength might have scared them off as well. I think it was the talking with fish thing though because a show of strength when you're thirteen probably isn't a bad thing at all! Especially when you're defending a beached whale. All the junior high school girls would have been climbing all over each other to climb all over him. Especially in a boring seaside town where there's nothing to do but hide inside all winter and fuck tourists all summer.

Meanwhile aboard Triton Base, Creature King has lost his arms, legs, and most of his brain function. The leader of Triton Base, Asshole McBeardbutt, can't help wishing Aquaman had never saved this low level employee that's just going to cause a bunch of headaches with the base's insurance plan. Luckily for Asshole, he has another employee that's a creepy motherfucker into diddling brain dead amputees.

"Let's see, I can either try out my new regenerative Starfish paste on his limbs or I can graft a sea cucumber to his anal sphincter."

Back on land, Arthur decides he'll attend his high school reunion because Mera looks stunning in everything. Plus he might be able to find some guy named Kevin Bernard who has fantasies about Preboot Peter David Aquaman. That's fairly common. It's the only Aquaman I ever bother to think about. Occasionally I'll think about the one from the Aquaman cartoon as he rides a gigantic seahorse. It's a toss up which version treated the character most seriously.

Mera sniffs her fingers in front of Aquaman's old classmates.

It might come as a shock to anybody that has been reading this blog for a long time but I've never been interested in attending a high school reunion. When most of the things that make life worth living occur inside of your own head, you don't really look forward to making small talk with people that want to talk about jobs and families.

Old Member of the Class of 1989: "So, Tess, what have you been up to all these long years?"
Eee! Tess Ate Chai Tea: "Well, I guess I've fantasized about the way every day of my life could possibly go and how every interaction that might have been possible during that day could end in complete disaster if I didn't plan out my conversations precisely only to later discover that a few grunts and awkward shifts of my glance to avoid eye contact were sufficient for my purposes before heading back home to sigh in pleasure as I turned inward once more, blocking out the overwhelming sights and sounds of a society built without taking my needs into consideration."
Old Member of the Class of 1989: "Oh. So. Um. Any children?"

Mera explores dangerous territory.

It turns out that Arthur must have been doing a lot of ecstasy during high school because he barely remembers anything his classmates try to talk to him about. Kevin, the kid that fantasized he was going to bring down the wrath of Aquaman, admits to having keyed Arthur's car in high school. Arthur does not command a pack of dolphins to have their way with him. Arthur simply doesn't remember the incident. Is Arthur sure he's at the right reunion?

While Arthur is at his reunion, the guy that's been asking questions about him all week breaks into the lighthouse, steals Aquaman's trident, flies to the Azores, puts the trident in an ancient runestone, and ushers about the raising of the Lost Continent of Atlantis! Or the end of the world. It's really kind of a toss up.

Aquaman #28 Rating: +1 Ranking simply for all the cute people at Aquaman's reunion and because Aquaman's attitude while there. He was conciliatory when he didn't really need to be since his classmates all seem to remember him rather fondly. But Aquaman had left without saying any goodbyes when the world discovered his secret, so he believed they'd all be angry with him. It turns out, they're all rather proud to have had him in his class. The only person really angry with him is one of his good friends that he was going to run a trawler with after high school. The people remember him how most high school classmates remember each other: a bit abstractly but really rather fondly because he's associated with a more innocent, carefree time of their lives. The only people he really needs to apologize to are the ones he was actually close to because they're the ones he hurt when he left without a word. So I'm guessing his buddy with the trawler will be making another appearance in the future, either because he'll get an apology or because he'll become a super villain!


  1. Best book DC is putting out right now or at least the best one I read. Got to admit it's been good to see the new Aquaman mythos unfold.

    And how does your ranking system go? Is it only +1 or nothing?

    1. My ranking system is that list off to the right. So all of the New 52 are kind of rated against each other. I admit, I don't update the Ranking List on this site very often. So a comic book can move up or down that list by whatever arbitrary number I decide to move it.

      Aquaman is near the top so I have to be particularly impressed to give it more than a +1 though. It's currently #4 (of 52. Well, near 52) on my updated list while it shows #7 on this site. Whoops!